Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Hip-Hop & R&B artists have always had a love/hate relationship when it comes to the Grammys, but it seems like over the past few years more and more artists are expressing their displeasure with the award show. We all know that Jay-Z had a long-standing boycott with the Grammys. Last year Eminem vowed to never attend the Grammys in an interview with Sway. Arian Grande skipped the 2019 Grammys due to issues with soon to be ex-Grammy producer, Ken Ehrlich. Drake shaded the Grammys as he was accepting a Grammy for Best Rap Song - God's Plan. It goes on and on.
This makes me wonder why do artists, particularly Hip-Hop & R&B performers, continue to complain about the Grammys all while playing their reindeer games? A good example of this is Hip-Hop legend Nicki Minaj, who recently exposed Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich for blackballing her. Yep, that is the same man who Ariana Grande had an issue with. According to Nicki she was not being snubbed by the Grammys for all these years, she was simply being blackballed. She claimed that Ehrlich had blackballed her for speaking out after her controversial 2012 Grammy performance.
When Nicki Minaj first revealed that she was being blackballed, it made sense because Nicki definitely deserved more nominations and wins considering her catalog. But what didn't make sense was why did Nicki Minaj keep submitting for Grammy consideration? I'm not clear on how much control an artist has on Grammy submissions, but I would think that an artist can tell their label or whomever not to submit their work. It's interesting that an artist must "SUBMIT" to the Grammys.
“We can pretend that we don’t care, but we really care—we care because we see the most incredible stand on those stage, and we aspire to be that” - Jay-Z
Once an artist submits their work to the Grammys they are giving all their power away. Particularly in Nicki's case, if she knew she was being blackballed why even waste your time with the process? Was she hoping that Ehlrich would forget about his vendetta against her? No matter because her willingness to play the game allowed Ehlrich to have power over her for all these years.
BLACKBALL THE GRAMMYS
Instead of using recycled complaints about the Grammys every year, artists need to take a real stand. That means doing more than boycotting the ceremony. Artists must STOP submitting their music for a Grammy until real changes are made. Can you imagine a rap category without any rappers? They already don't televise many of Rap & R&B categories but want those nominated artists in the audience. They want them on stage performing, not accepting awards.
If the biggest artists didn't participate in the Grammy’s games, that would put the Grammys on life support. Ratings are already down. Can you imagine if Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Da Baby, and Beyonce all decided not to submit for a Grammy? They have some of the hottest songs/projects this year. That would be a strong message to fans/Grammys that when an artists claims not to care about the Grammys, they really mean that. Anyone who does win a Grammy will have a huge asterisk next to their win due to lack of real competition. The Grammys would probably rush to make the changes that artists have been arguing for so fast that it will make you wonder why wasn't this done sooner🤔.
Just to be clear, I am not saying to "blackball" the Grammys forever. I am saying that Hip-Hop/R&B artists should use this tactic in order to make changes for the better. Make the award really be about the talent and the art. But, I know this is asking too much. At the end of the day, the artists would rather be "blackballed" than to do the "blackballing". They would rather stand alone than stand together. They would rather complain about a problem than be part of the solution. See you at the Grammys✌🏾